Post # 1
So, our wedding is still in the super early planning stages but we live in Germany (FI is German and I’m doing my PhD here) and are planning a wedding in RI (where I’m from) to take place in 2010. We decided we would need more time based on the distance and periodic visits and this gives out guests time to plan their travels and budget accordingly. When it comes to the wedding party, it’s just not part of German tradition and we want everyone to dress alike. The issue is the groomsmen, 3 live in Germany and 2 in the US (my brothers). We’re thinking of the Navy blazer/khaki pants look but can’t figure out how they will all be able to get the same color pants and same blazers. We realize there are travel costs and don’t want to have to ask them to buy a whole suit on top of that and even so, they can’t buy the suit a week before and expect that it will fit – this makes me way too nervous.
In addition, my Future Brother-In-Law is handicapped and is very particular about the clothes he wears so we know he will never keep a suit on. We want him to be comfortable and participate in the wedding party but are looking to an alternative to his favorite jeans and sweatshirt, any ideas?
Has anyone else had a similar experience? I know this is pretty complicated but that’s why I’m trying to get all ideas early. Thanks for any insight.
Post # 3
Hmm, that *is* tricky. My personal solution is to let all the guys wear their own dark suit and light-colored shirt. I’m just basically trusting them to have something nice and low-key, and we’re going to buy them matching ties. I know this could end up a minor mess, but with everything else going on, it doesn’t bother me too much.
If you’re attached to having them totally match, which I completely understand, what about researching online vendors like LL Bean? I’m pretty sure they ship internationally, and they have a fantastic return policy that would allow you to purchase several sizes at once and return some. They also offer free shipping sometimes, although I don’t know that they’d extend that internationally… that’d be pretty sweet. I think LL Bean would be great for the kind of look you’re going for, too.
As for your Future Brother-In-Law, it sounds like you’ve chosen a look that will be a lot more comfortable than a suit. Maybe you could get him a polo shirt instead of a regular dress shirt to wear under the blazer; then he could take the blazer off at the reception and still look put-together.
Post # 4
I think that navy and khaki w/ some variations among the guys would look nice….there are so many "non-matchy" weddings now that look really cool, and there aren’t really any wild variations of those colors….it would still look pulled-together. So you could let them wear what they have.
Or you could get the Germans to shop together and the Americans to shop together, so that you have two iterations of the outfit, and everybody matches somebody.
Or, if you really want exact matches and don’t want to impose cost burdens on them, you could of course buy the jackets for them….LL Bean is a good idea.
Post # 5
If you look back in American history, matching wedding party attire is a failry new idea. Traditionally all the bridal party members each just wore their finest suit. I think it would be perfectly fine to give each of them basic guideslines about what to wear, and then have them each choose their own.
Post # 6
We had our guys just wear a nice suit they already owned. Darling Husband wore a dark navy; the other guys wore dark grey. Although navy is a little more problematic than grey (most suit greys are about the same color value, just different shades, whereas navy can be all over the board) I’m not sure it matters if they match exactly. If you think it does matter, ordering online is a great idea. Jackets can always be fitted locally, by any tailor.
As far as your Future Brother-In-Law, I assume you’re worried about him ditching the jacket during the reception. Trust me, all the guys are going to ditch the jacket after the photos – it always happens. Particularly if there is dancing. As long as you choose clothing that Future Brother-In-Law can reasonably wear through the ceremony and any photography immediately after, it doesn’t really matter if he changes after that. A great many brides actually change for the reception as well – into a shorter dress, something less formal and easier for dancing. As long as you’ve got your group photos out of the way I wouldn’t worry about it.
Post # 7
All my guys lived in different parts of the country. What I did is found what I liked (it happened to be at men’s wearhouse) told the guys to go to a suit place and get their measurements (or to a men’s wearhouse) and then I ordered all their suits for them. They just put down a credit card when it came in.
Once the suits arrived, they shipped them to their homes, the guys did their alterations in their own hometown and it was done.
I did all this within a month.
It’s totally possible.
Use one of your local german groomsman as the guinea pig for finding the right pants and jacket.
Post # 8
Think about sending them a swatch and having them match to it.
Post # 9
I say just let them not match exactly. If your Future Brother-In-Law is very particular about pants, then he might not be able to find a pair that work for his handicap… if he is in a wheelchair, trust me it is a lot harder than it seems to be comfortable just sitting. Clothes pull all weird and just think about trying to ROW a boat with a suit coat on with no give… talk about discomfort. See if he would be willing to wear a coat for the ceremony and pictures, but after that, who cares!
My husband lost the jacket within an hour of the reception starting and he rolled up his sleeves! It just shows the natural comfort of your families and their personalities.